A quiet route was promised. Apart from the 25 km to get out of Bucharest navigating the road works and traffic. And the section crossing the border with its 10 mile queue of lorries. Twinned with Dover.

Perhaps the humidity, thirsty work today so we kept stopping at road side shops. The villages hug the roadside. The fields roast in the heat.

The border between Romania and Bulgaria is down the middle of the Danube. Which has grown to 2.4km wide. It’s crossed via the Friendship bridge built by the two nations. Too narrow to stop, just side enough for a car to pass. Thankfully the lorries are in queue.

Ruse population 150000, was in its heyday late 19, early 20 Century. As a trading port: the buildings we’re told are reminiscent of Vienna. Certainly not western though the Cyrillic script everywhere provides a clue it’s not. The central plaza is a delight: full of locals enjoying the evening heat with kids happily thrashing around on scooters.

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